4X Humankind releases 2021-08-17

Brian Boru

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Any of you planning to buy on Day 1?
As a mostly Patient Gamer, I won't be buying Day 1, but I will be watching with great interest. I'm very hopeful this will be a serious competitor or companion to the Civilization series.

Devs

The devs Amplitude Studios also made Endless Legend which I played, so they have good pedigree in the 4X genre—also Endless Space, a space 4X. Sega buying them has provided the money for this big undertaking.

Early Game

I'm especially interested in the changes to the game start, where you have more flexibility than Civ allows. I also like the Outpost idea for connecting resources to your civ without having to plonk down a full city.

Victory

Progress & victory is on a points-based system—called Stars & Fame—and you can accumulate some in each of the 6 eras, in fact you must to move from era to era. So it may not be a mad rush to tanks or rocket parts at the end, which could be great for earlier-game play.

Your 'Tribe'

You get to change civs at each era change if you want to—don't know how I feel about that, but it will definitely be interesting to see how it impacts gameplay. I enjoy being Alexander or Gandhi for a full Civ game, so we'll see. Oh, you design your own avatar, like in a RPG.

Terrain, Military

There's verticality in the terrain, which should make for some nice military tactical choices. Instead of Civ's Barbarians, your early encounters are with wildlife—eg mammoths. You can delay settling your first city because your starting warrior can clone itself after grabbing some food—nice, the need to quick-settle in Civ was always a PITA if you ended up just out of reach of an important resource.

No DRM

Kudos to Amplitude for dropping Denuvo DRM for launch because it wasn't up to snuff. I hope enough players support the paid game so they don't suffer because of it. Kudos also for delaying the original release date to fix some issues based on testers' feedback.

Let's hope Humankind is great and a big success!

Sources



 

Alm

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I will wait for reviews and if they are glowing then I'll lay down some cash. I really like the Civ games but I haven't played them enough to really understand all the intricacies so I'm still a bit of a noob.
 
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If you're in the mood, you can also watch the preview versions played by various YouTubers.
Obviously it's not exactly the same build as will go out for release, but there's been some play throughs as of last month and already I'd say the game looks pretty complete.
 
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I'm waiting for a review, there will be pros and cons, for fans of this game, money is not an issue ;)
 

Kaamos_Llama

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Metacritic is trending higher then PCG, but I think Fraser Brown is a real 4X guy so I'd lend his opinion much more weight then your average review here.

Its probably going to take more than decent reviews for a good game to peel Civ players away from it en masse for any length of time. That series is like the most comfortable pair of trousers for about 3 generations of 4X players at this point.

I might pick it up on sale, and DLC and good support might make it into something more over time.
 
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Brian Boru

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Fraser Brown is a real 4X guy so I'd lend his opinion much more weight
I agree, always found Fraser's view more valuable than most, although Nate Crowley is my favorite. That said, Civ5 cured me of release-day pro reviews—it was in bad shape, yet got 85-90 across the board.

The reason is clear of course to anyone who's played 4X for its main attraction—replayability. 3 months into a Civ game, I'm still discovering new strategies and interesting choices, and it probably takes 6 months before I feel I have it well sussed. So nobody can review gameplay on Day 1, but rather only the systems, presentations, and design ideas.

Civ4 was a mess at launch, Civ5 a bad mess, and Civ6 maybe the worst mess of the 3. Patches, Expansions, and mods made them the games they became—superb, excellent, and fairly good. Day 1 pro reviews are good for many genres, but strategy certainly isn't one of them, and especially not 4X.

As a Patient Gamer, I won't be buying Humankind for a long time—probably not until it's 'complete' with all patches, expansions, DLCs, and mods—and I'll get most of my opinion in the meantime from the game's forum on CivFanatics.
 

Kaamos_Llama

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I agree, always found Fraser's view more valuable than most, although Nate Crowley is my favorite. That said, Civ5 cured me of release-day pro reviews—it was in bad shape, yet got 85-90 across the board.

The reason is clear of course to anyone who's played 4X for its main attraction—replayability. 3 months into a Civ game, I'm still discovering new strategies and interesting choices, and it probably takes 6 months before I feel I have it well sussed. So nobody can review gameplay on Day 1, but rather only the systems, presentations, and design ideas.

Civ4 was a mess at launch, Civ5 a bad mess, and Civ6 maybe the worst mess of the 3. Patches, Expansions, and mods made them the games they became—superb, excellent, and fairly good. Day 1 pro reviews are good for many genres, but strategy certainly isn't one of them, and especially not 4X.

As a Patient Gamer, I won't be buying Humankind for a long time—probably not until it's 'complete' with all patches, expansions, DLCs, and mods—and I'll get most of my opinion in the meantime from the game's forum on CivFanatics.
Yea it was a bit of a hot take. I'm thinking in absolutes, in a way like this game has to lure people away from Civ, when in reality it just needs to be different and interesting enough that enough buy it. Then those that do buy it will continue to buy all the DLC's following the Paradox model.

For some people I know Civ is a comfort food game. The games have evolved obviously but there's enough similarities in the iterations that they still feel easy to slip into the next without having to figure a lot out and just carry on as usual. I was wondering whether Humankind would be able to become that game for enough people, where it probably doesn't need to.

I do value Metacritic generally. I know many dislike it, but I often dont want to read an in depth review of something before I play it as I'd rather have my own take on the game the first time I try it. I just want to see if consensus is its worth looking at more closely. I read reviews after I've been playing a game for a while to see whether any reviewers felt the same as I did out of interest. I listen to podcasts for the same reason.

As an impatient gamer, I'll also probably buy it later :p But instead of putting 2000 hours into it I'll do 100 or 200 if I really like it and move on to the next thing. I appreciate that's just me, I'm like a magpie always looking for the next shiny :)
 

Kaamos_Llama

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@Brian Boru I'm interested to know what the more hardcore Civ community is saying about the game. Are a lot of people into it already?

(I'm secretly hurting you said Civ 4 was a mess, I probably played hundred of hours of the Vanilla DVD version and loved it back then :p)
 
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Aug 20, 2021
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Any of you planning to buy on Day 1?
As a mostly Patient Gamer, I won't be buying Day 1, but I will be watching with great interest. I'm very hopeful this will be a serious competitor or companion to the Civilization series.

Devs

The devs Amplitude Studios also made Endless Legend which I played, so they have good pedigree in the 4X genre—also Endless Space, a space 4X. Sega buying them has provided the money for this big undertaking.

Early Game

I'm especially interested in the changes to the game start, where you have more flexibility than Civ allows. I also like the Outpost idea for connecting resources to your civ without having to plonk down a full city.

Victory

Progress & victory is on a points-based system—called Stars & Fame—and you can accumulate some in each of the 6 eras, in fact you must to move from era to era. So it may not be a mad rush to tanks or rocket parts at the end, which could be great for earlier-game play.

Your 'Tribe'

You get to change civs at each era change if you want to—don't know how I feel about that, but it will definitely be interesting to see how it impacts gameplay. I enjoy being Alexander or Gandhi for a full Civ game, so we'll see. Oh, you design your own avatar, like in a RPG.

Terrain, Military

There's verticality in the terrain, which should make for some nice military tactical choices. Instead of Civ's Barbarians, your early encounters are with wildlife—eg mammoths. You can delay settling your first city because your starting warrior can clone itself after grabbing some food—nice, the need to quick-settle in Civ was always a PITA if you ended up just out of reach of an important resource.

No DRM

Kudos to Amplitude for dropping Denuvo DRM for launch because it wasn't up to snuff. I hope enough players support the paid game so they don't suffer because of it. Kudos also for delaying the original release date to fix some issues based on testers' feedback.

Let's hope Humankind is great and a big success!

Sources



Iam waiting My Master :)
 

Brian Boru

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what the more hardcore Civ community is saying
I made a new thread, see post #2:

I'm secretly hurting you said Civ 4 was a mess, I probably played hundred of hours of the Vanilla DVD version and loved it back then
Oh me too, exactly the same! Civ4 Vanilla is what captured me for the franchise, something 1, 2 or 3 didn't do.
It was only as the patches came along, and expansions Warlord and Beyond the Sword developed it, and the fabulous modders did their thing, that it became clear how much was missing from Vanilla.

It's the nature of 4X, the complexity of interacting systems takes a lot of iteration to produce a polished final product.
 

Kaamos_Llama

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I made a new thread, see post #2:


Oh me too, exactly the same! Civ4 Vanilla is what captured me for the franchise, something 1, 2 or 3 didn't do.
It was only as the patches came along, and expansions Warlord and Beyond the Sword developed it, and the fabulous modders did their thing, that it became clear how much was missing from Vanilla.

It's the nature of 4X, the complexity of interacting systems takes a lot of iteration to produce a polished final product.
It seems I met you in the middle :) I played 1 a fair amount, 2 a lot 3 not at all and 4 nowhere near as much as 2. I've barely touched 5 and I picked up 6 for free from Epic and I've never installed it.

I've one friend who doesn't play any other video games than the latest Civ on a laptop occasionally. I've another friend who always has Civ always on the back burner, and he's said he's always been able to slip into the next in the series straight at the higher difficulty levels without too much trouble. He's smart, but he's no genius. That's why I called it a comfort food game before, to clarify. I wasn't meaning to imply the game is simple, more that the series is very familiar to a large crowd of people (like an old pair of trousers).

For Humankind, I'll never be able to spend 5000 hours in game and another 5000 on top theory crafting with spreadsheets. I respect that approach a lot but its not for me, not smart enough or able to be dedicated enough. I'd see it as a possible 200 hour good time on a medium difficulty if I'm in the right mood for it and it catches me.

I do like to know what the more dedicated fans think of the game, in the same way I like to know that anything I'm going to buy is of the best quality for my money. Even if as a casual I'm not going to always be able to appreciate the finer details :)
 
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Brian Boru

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I've barely touched 5 and I picked up 6 for free from Epic and I've never installed it
5 Vanilla was weak, but it became really good when everything was complete—patches, expansions, mods—to the extent a lot of players prefer it to 4.

6 is definitely the weakest of the recent big three—AI and diplomacy just don't work. I did pick up the complete package on Steam sale last year and have spent all of 15 hours in it so far—I don't think I installed the Epic freebie either, no interest in having to relearn complex systems. I applaud the ideas and the brave choices Firaxis made with 6, shame it didn't come off.

series is very familiar to a large crowd of people
Familiarity probably helped by Sid's new game philosophy of "one-third old, one-third improved, and one-third new", leaving 2/3 of each game almost immediately accessible to anyone who played the previous.

That's also because it's replayable—it can be a really enjoyable spell just discovering what kind of map the next game throws at you. It's like driving in constantly changing terrain—pretty soon, the driving part becomes automatic so you can change cars with only a minor learning curve.

a possible 200 hour good time on a medium difficulty
You say that like it's a bad thing :) Most non-strategy or non-RPG players would salivate at the thought of such an experience—with of course a few going on to 1,000-hour ecstasy.
 

Kaamos_Llama

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I don't think I installed the Epic freebie either, no interest in having to relearn complex systems. I applaud the ideas and the brave choices Firaxis made with 6, shame it didn't come off.....

That's also because it's replayable—it can be a really enjoyable spell just discovering what kind of map the next game throws at you. It's like driving in constantly changing terrain—pretty soon, the driving part becomes automatic so you can change cars with only a minor learning curve.....

Familiarity probably helped by Sid's new game philosophy of "one-third old, one-third improved, and one-third new", leaving 2/3 of each game almost immediately accessible to anyone who played the previous.
This is what I was referring to earlier. If a games main target demographic is people who are familiar with a certain set of rules and don't want to see them changed too much, how well is Humankind going to do at trying to steal Civilizations lunch? It seems to me that's who they are after with this more historical style of game.

Does Humankind share any mechanical DNA with Endless Legend and Endless Space at all? I've just been dipping into Endless Space 2, and FIDSI, luxury resources and the way research is set up seems familiar enough from Endless Legend in a way that helped me drop in and understand the very basics easily. I didn't play Endless Space 1.

You say that like it's a bad thing :) Most non-strategy or non-RPG players would salivate at the thought of such an experience—with of course a few going on to 1,000-hour ecstasy.
Not at all! I like to play many genres of games, I don't have that much interest in playing games that are hugely derivative including some sequels to games I've loved. There are exceptions of course, like with Baldurs Gate, Torment, and PoE/Tyranny for example. But in those cases its often been many years since I played the originals and/or the differences are significant enough to reel me in. Unless its a FromSoft game, I reserve the right to be inconsistent :p
 
I've one friend who doesn't play any other video games than the latest Civ on a laptop occasionally. I've another friend who always has Civ always on the back burner, and he's said he's always been able to slip into the next in the series straight at the higher difficulty levels without too much trouble. He's smart, but he's no genius. That's why I called it a comfort food game before, to clarify. I wasn't meaning to imply the game is simple, more that the series is very familiar to a large crowd of people (like an old pair of trousers).

For Humankind, I'll never be able to spend 5000 hours in game and another 5000 on top theory crafting with spreadsheets. I respect that approach a lot but its not for me, not smart enough or able to be dedicated enough. I'd see it as a possible 200 hour good time on a medium difficulty if I'm in the right mood for it and it catches me.
I've always played Civilization as a power fantasy/role playing game. Which resulted in some mockery when I played Civ V with my wife and a friend of ours, who approach it more like a competitive game, and I filled my entire island with Moai statues as Polynesia.

My main problem is that I don't like protracted war in Civ games. The combat mechanics just aren't interesting to me, it always feels like a slog if I can't simply steam roll my enemy.
 

Kaamos_Llama

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I've always played Civilization as a power fantasy/role playing game. Which resulted in some mockery when I played Civ V with my wife and a friend of ours, who approach it more like a competitive game, and I filled my entire island with Moai statues as Polynesia.

My main problem is that I don't like protracted war in Civ games. The combat mechanics just aren't interesting to me, it always feels like a slog if I can't simply steam roll my enemy.
In the Civ 1 and 2 days I was usually about rush building settlers and then focusing on tech towards tanks before anyone else. You could then Steam roll all your direct neighbours and then build towards research victory, the biggest blob usually won. I'm sure there were other ways to play it but that worked for me. The internet wasn't quite as all consuming as it is now and I didnt look up guides and forums at that time.

I think in 4 they brought in penalties for building too many cities? The production, happiness etc penalties for war in those earlier games was always too terrible to put up with for long, you had to Sun Tzu it and know you'd won before you started. No idea how it is now tbh.

I do like the idea of building a Civ just for the sake of it, I occasionally get in the mood for games like Banished and I can see how a campaign like that would scratch a similar itch in a game like Civ.

From what I've seen in Brians other thread the combat in Humankind is much more interesting then Civ has been. As a fan of turn based combat in a lot of games, it sounds like I might enjoy that more :)
 

Brian Boru

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how well is Humankind going to do at trying to steal Civilizations lunch?
I doubt that's the intent. I've been amazed that no one else did a historical 4X in the last 20 years, but instead all ploughed into the space and fantasy themes. There's loads of room for more than Civ, I imagine most 4X players will have both and Old World too—oh heck, we don't have a thread for that yet!

If there is some lunch grabbing going on, HK shouldn't have much trouble given Civ6's weakness. People should be eager for another top quality offering, whenever HK reaches that pinnacle.

Does Humankind share any mechanical DNA with Endless Legend
I haven't played the ESpace games, not into space 4X altho I have a few in my TBP pile. HK has EL's beauty and terrain elevation, and the combat system sounds very like EL. The factions are much less differentiated than EL's, which is a pity imo.
 

Brian Boru

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I don't like protracted war in Civ games
Same here. After maybe 100 wars in Civ4 it got old—just too much tedium, to the extent that when a civ declares on me now I seriously consider restarting unless it's obviously either quick or phony. I always play with Raging Barbarians tho, so I can't 'cheat' by building a steamroll economy.

I think in 4 they brought in penalties for building too many cities?
Not really, 5 was where city spam got nerfed. There is an increased maintenance cost in 4, but it's easily manageable as long as you don't go crazy with early cities.

I do like the idea of building a Civ just for the sake of it
Yeah, that's mostly where I've been at for years now. I often play Islands map so there's no contact until near mid-game. That's one of the great things about Civ, you can customize your game to be exactly what you want on the day.

the combat in Humankind is much more interesting
Yep, looks that way to me too. I'll definitely go for blood whenever I eventually get to play it.
 

Kaamos_Llama

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I doubt that's the intent. I've been amazed that no one else did a historical 4X in the last 20 years, but instead all ploughed into the space and fantasy themes. There's loads of room for more than Civ, I imagine most 4X players will have both and Old World too—oh heck, we don't have a thread for that yet!

If there is some lunch grabbing going on, HK shouldn't have much trouble given Civ6's weakness. People should be eager for another top quality offering, whenever HK reaches that pinnacle.


I haven't played the ESpace games, not into space 4X altho I have a few in my TBP pile. HK has EL's beauty and terrain elevation, and the combat system sounds very like EL. The factions are much less differentiated than EL's, which is a pity imo.
I heard Old world was kind of a halfway house between Crusader Kings and Civ. Has quite some fun with CS3 so that might be something else to look at.

For Humankind I'm sure there must be some similarity to older Amplitude stuff, the Endless games have been quite popular and some level of familiarity with part of the systems would really help to get newer people engaged.

Humankind is also on Gamepass I just realized, that's really a great move. Although its a bit cheaper than the average full game anyway.

Not really, 5 was where city spam got nerfed. There is an increased maintenance cost in 4, but it's easily manageable as long as you don't go crazy with early cities.
But going crazy with early cities is how you win the game! :p
 

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